Memorial Day is tomorrow. Many of us will go to picnics and enjoy a day away from our jobs. Some of us might go to a parade and may even give a brief moment of thought to those who served in the military.
My father never talked much about his time in the Army Air Corps because he didn't think he did anything special. He went, he did his duty, and then he came home. When the base where he was discharged closed, I finally got Dad to tell me a bit. He spent only one day at that base but he will never forget passing through it because he was heading home. He also won't forget the heat of New Mexico where he was stationed for the latter part of WWII.
Yes, in 1945, Dad was serving at Alamogordo, New Mexico. Do I need to tell you what was happening in New Mexico at that time? He remembers how the sky lit up like it was daylight, even though that first atomic blast was 60 miles away. He said he could have easily read the newspaper in light that has been compared to that of several suns.
After describing the events of July 16, 1945, Dad mentioned that he belonged to a flight crew that spent several months in Colorado for secret training. The flight crew of the Enola Gay was not the only one in training for the mission.
It made perfect sense. There had to be more than one crew in case anything happened. This had never occurred to me nor would I have associated my father with this historic event.
Our fathers and grandfathers are rapidly leaving this world. They all have tales to tell that are part of our heritage. If you don't know what your relative did in military service, find out. Then pass that along to your children. In communicating our own history, we honor those who went before us and tie the generations together.
God bless all those who serve and those who wait for them to come home.